Advancing Gender Equality of Youth and It’s Empowerment through Education in Implementing The Post-2015 Development Agenda

“Give me 10 young men, I will undoubtedly shake the world!”

A famous quote from Indonesia’s first president named Soekarno shows that Soekarno appreciated the young people. Young people play important roles and have a great energy, capacity and ambition that can be maximized. Indonesians should consider the importance of youth’s contribution to develop the nations. Young generations has potential recources for deciding a nation’s destiny. Since 1928 until 1998, youth movement has recorded several changes in our history. The youth have contributed significantly to the development of our country. Apart from the problem they might cause, they constitute particular strength which must be further harnessed through education for all including for women.

Woman also plays significant role since the colonial era. In the previous time, we have many women heroes like RA Kartini who encouraged the gender equality through education, Dewi Sartika, Cut Nyak Dien, Martha Christina Tiahahu and so on, so now the women have better rights in many aspect of life such as education, job, politic etc. But, in the fact we still face much inequality for women. For example, there’s still a lot of women trafficking and also young woman who forced to get married at an early age. They should be at school to get proper education, to get better future. We believe that women plays importans role in one country, especially for developing country. As we know, women is the first school for their children. By having good education, whether a woman then will work or being a housewife, they can be a good teacher for the children. Women need to be independent. It will give multiplier impact to the society and the nation, then directly give contribution to the world. As we know, the the president of the General Assembly of United Nation outlined seven priority areas for the session namely the post-2015 development agenda :

  • Combatting climate change;
  • Advancing gender equality and empowerment of women;
  • Strengthening cooperation between the un and regional organizations;
  • Peaceful settlement of disputes and peacebuilding;
  • Revitalization of the general assembly and reform of the security council;
  • Enhancing the role of the un alliance of civilizations.

Source : http://www.un.org/pga/post-2015/

In the report, the Panel calls for the new post-2015 goals to drive five big transformation shifts:

  1. Leave No One Behind.
  2. Put Sustainable Development at the Core.
  3. Transform Economies for Jobs and Inclusive Growth
  4. Build Peace and Effective, Open and Accountable Institutions for All.
  5. Forge a New Global Partnership.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-2015_Development_Agenda

As a teacher, I had unforgettable experience regarding this case and become one of my turning point in life. At 2012, my students at the previous school forced to drooped out of school because she need to help their families. I failed to help her although I tried to help her by foster parents. She just said to me that she accepted her destiny, but she wanted me to help her young sister to continue at higher education. So I initiated an institution which firstly for computer course only with borrowed money. Then the institution changed to vocational school named SMK ITACO in Bekasi. Then, I looked for another dropped out and unfortunate children, got 15 children and 9 of them are women.

Running this institution, I have been helped by foster parents, sponsors and also volunteers. Currently, we are still fighting in funding, get school licensing and also for permanent building for our activities. This challenge make us more struggle to fight in advancing gender equality of youth and it’s empowerment through education. Here are some things we’re trying to do :

  • Initiate a vocational school for unfortunate children named SMK ITACO. We want to reduce the gap education inequality. Not only in rural area, we also see this cases happen in a city. By getting a better education, we hope they will get a better job to help their family. Currently we have just graduated 15 students and some of them already working and we’re trying all the students get the proper job and have opportunity to continue their study to the university. We hope after helping their family, they also could help the society around them. So it will give multiplier impact to reduce poverty.
  • To help student’s expense, we’re trying to build entrepreneurship community named Siswa Wirausaha. Our first business was mug printing and now we have various business such as ID card printing, pin printing, computer service, social medi service, tshirt printing etc. Beside to help them financially, we want to empower and teach entrepreneurship spirit to the students and we hope someday, they could build a business also to help their society. An entrepreneur could be a problem solver for poverty, unemployment,  criminality and so on.
  • To face the MEA 2015 era, the students should have good competencies and interpersonal skill to empower the students ready for the challenges. So we encourage them to join in the competition, involve in community, being a volunteer, write a blog, meet new people as many as possible etc. They need to have a courage and confidence although they come from poor families. As long as they eager to learn, the destiny could be change.

We realize that we still have many homework further. It’s need a lot of effort and collaboration from many parties. We believe that education can be a powerful weapon to advancing gender equality and it’s empowerment in implementating the Post-2015 development agenda. Let’s work together!

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